Juan Pablo Horcajada at IMIM: Antibiotics are getting less and less effective

Juan Pablo Horcajada coordinates the Infectious Pathology and Antimicrobial Research group at the IMIM, which was set up in 2014 and comprises fifteen people. “We are a clinical research group and we use our healthcare activity at the hospital to … Continue reading Juan Pablo Horcajada at IMIM: Antibiotics are getting less and less effective

Cathryn Tonne at ISGlobal: Linking air pollution to cardiovascular risk in India

Cathryn Tonne joined ISGlobal in 2015 to study the effects of air pollution and noise exposure. Her group mainly works on a European Research Council funded project called CHAI, which focuses on the link between cardiovascular risk and air pollution … Continue reading Cathryn Tonne at ISGlobal: Linking air pollution to cardiovascular risk in India

“Without 3D information it is very difficult to understand how the genome works”

Marc A. Marti-Renom is interested in three-dimensional structures. After eight years in the US dedicated to the world of proteins, the biophysicist returned to his native country, first Valencia and then Barcelona, to specialise in RNA and DNA folding. In 2006 he set up his own group, which today is divided between the CNAG, where there are ten people, and the CRG, where there are two. “We do the experimental part, the sample preparation, here in the CRG, and the sequencing and analysis happens in the CNAG”, he explains. For his research he requires a large sequencing and computing capacity, … Continue reading “Without 3D information it is very difficult to understand how the genome works”

“We’re evolving towards systems pharmacology”

  A theoretical chemist by training, Jordi Mestres started up the chemogenomics lab of the IMIM, currently part of the GRIB, in 2003. The structure of the group, made up of graduates and doctors in chemistry, biology, biotechnology and computer science, perfectly reflects its three main lines of research: molecules, proteins and programming to predict the interaction between them. “We apply our predictions to both drug discovery and chemical biology”, summarises Mestres. This last discipline consists of using small molecules to sound out biology, for example inhibiting a protein to understand its function. According to the scientist from Girona the … Continue reading “We’re evolving towards systems pharmacology”

Pedro Carvalho (CRG) explains the role of ER in protein control and lipid homeostasis

Pedro Carvalho, from the CRG tries to understand how the cell uses its quality control mechanisms to get rid of proteins that are not functional. He also studies lipid homeostasis. Both functions take place at the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER). Check … Continue reading Pedro Carvalho (CRG) explains the role of ER in protein control and lipid homeostasis

“The same mutation can have a different outcome in different individuals”

The English researcher Ben Lehner started as a junior group leader at the CRG in December 2006 and has been an ICREA Professor since 2009. His lab, Genetics Systems, consists of five postdoctoral fellows, four PhD students, and a technician who hail from Italy, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Chile, Peru, Canada and Switzerland. About half of the group members are computational biologists and the rest work primarily in the ‘wet’ lab. They all have the same aim – to understand basic questions in genetics – but they use diverse approaches and model systems. From individual genome sequences to … Continue reading “The same mutation can have a different outcome in different individuals”

Notch in normal and leukemic cells

Anna Bigas and Lluís Espinosa, of the Stem Cell and Cancer group of the IMIM are two principal investigators who have joined forces to investigate different aspects of cancer development. Together with their jointed group of 14 researchers, Bigas focuses on hematopoietic stem cells, while Espinosa concentrates on solid cancer and intestinal stem cells. Bigas aims to understand how a pluripotent stem cell becomes a hematopoietic stem cell during embryogenesis. `It is a great challenge in the regenerative medicine field to understand where these stem cells come from and how they conserve this self- renewing capacity which enables them to … Continue reading Notch in normal and leukemic cells

“We are the interface between industry and academia” – Computer-assisted drug design lab

The Computer-Assisted Drug Design (CADD) laboratory of the GRIB is devoted to the area of drug design and development. Directed by Manuel Pastor, who started the group 10 years ago at the IMIM, it includes pharmacists, biologists, chemists, and a mathematician. “We also had a telecommunications engineer at one point. Our research needs experts in both science and programming”, justifies Pastor. The group’s interests are divided into three main areas. The first is methodological: they have written several programs marketed and are used by many pharmaceutical companies. The most recent one is Pentacle, which allows the creation of models relating … Continue reading “We are the interface between industry and academia” – Computer-assisted drug design lab

Listening to the language of neurones

Coming from the Rockefeller University in NY, Matthieu Louis leads the Sensory Systems and Behaviour group at the CRG, the only lab in Barcelona, and one of the few in Spain, investigating Drosophila neuroscience. His team comprises eight people with backgrounds in molecular biology, engineering and physics. Their aim is to correlate neural circuit function with behaviour using fruit fly larvae. “The Drosophila larva has a repertoire of complex behaviours and key cognitive functions. Yet its nervous system has 10 million neurones fewer than humans”, explains the physicist. The group tries to understand how odours are encoded by the olfactory … Continue reading Listening to the language of neurones